Effort Launched to Track Micro-Plastic in Cape Cod Canal

BUZZARDS BAY – The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative will be aiding efforts to track micro-plastics and harmful algal bloom throughout the Cape Cod Canal into Buzzards Bay.

Officials said the contaminants could potentially have originated from Boston’s Deer Island Treatment Plant.

The collaborative will be installing sensors which will monitor the waters for micro-plastics. The sensor is still in a prototype stage, but is believed to be useful enough to provide data in real world scenarios.

Micro-plastics specifically can be ingested by animals throughout the food chain, before eventually reaching humans.

Executive Director John Miller thinks the sensors can help scientists learn how to prevent dangerous water pollution.

“We think it’s critical to the environment in a lot of ways, and this really is very helpful, what we’re doing, in looking at just how (micro-plastics) circulate,” Miller said.

“We’ve had a lot of sampling done that shows that micro-plastics are everywhere in the world in the oceans, and this will basically look at just how those things are carried and how they’re circulated in currents.”

The collaborative is hoping to have the sensors installed in the water by the end of the month. For more information, visit www.coastaloceanvision.com.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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